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Men's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals
Amidst a stacked men's snowboard slopestyle field at Dew Tour Snowbasin, including Sage Kotsenburg, Eric Willett, and Gjermund Braaten, Canada's Sebastien "Seb Toots" Toutant dominated in Sunday's finals, taking the event title and the overall Dew Cup.
Under flat light and warm temps, the top men's slopestyle snowboarders struggled to put down a run at Snowbasin. Kotsenburg, Willett, and Braaten all crashed in run one.
Except for Toutant.
As the last rider to drop for run two, he was already the event winner and the Dew Cup champion based on run one, but instead of taking an easy victory lap, he pushed his riding for a 94.50 with a run that went backside 270 on down rail, 50 front 360 out, front boardslide 270 out, frontside double cork 1080, and backside double cork 1080.
"On my last run I knew I was winning, but I didn't want to do some methods and stuff on my final run," said Toutant. "I wanted to do a proper run to really win this stuff. And I stepped it up a bit and I'm stoked. That was the run I was thinking about all week and it worked out."
Kamp and Link finished second and third, respectively, with an 83.50 and 77.75.
Along with Toutant's second place at Dew Tour Breckenridge and second place at Dew Tour Killington, he took the Dew Cup for men's snowboard slopestyle and he's also in contention for the Toyota Athlete of the Year, which goes to the male and female rider with the most points overall.
Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals
|The women's snowboard slopestyle podium at the Snowbasin Dew Tour finals.|
In flat light conditions on Sunday, six of the world's best women's snowboarders dropped into the Dew Tour Snowbasin slopestyle course featuring three rails sections, a 60-foot jump, and 70-foot jump. Canada's Spencer O'Brien took the win and the 2012 Dew Cup.
Finland's Enni Rukajarvi, who was also in contention for the Cup, came out strong, not wearing goggles, putting down her first run with clean rails, backside 540 off the first booter, and a big, smooth Cab 540 on the second, earning an 86.5. O'Brien answered back with a strong upper section, but crashed hard on the last jump attempting a frontside 7. On run two, Rukajarvi put down another solid run, putting all of the pressure on O'Brien. She stood in the starting gate with the ability to win both the Snowbasin event and the Dew Cup if she could best Rukajarvi's 86.5.
She answered the call, stomping her run: switch boardslide to 50-50 on box-gap-down, front boardslide up and down on the A-frame, boardslide-to-fakie on the cannon box, switch backside 540 mute on jump one, to frontside 720 indie on the final 60-foot hit. With the run, she won the event and, along with her win at Breckenridge Dew Tour stop one, she also took the overall Dew Cup for women's snowboard slopestyle. Rukajarvi took second place.
"Enni put down a really solid run, so she definitely put the pressure on and I knew I had to land that run to take first," O'Brien said. "It feels really good to win the Dew Cup again (she won it in 2009). This season has been my best season ever and I'm stoked to come back strong after a bad performance at Winter X Games."
American Joanna Dzierzawski rounded out the podium in third place with a solid run that went switch boardslide, 50-50 front boardslide, 50-50 poke, backside 360, and frontside 360.
Women's Snowboard Superpipe Finals
After run one at today's halfpipe final at the third Dew Tour Stop at Snowbasin, Kelly Clark had everything to lose and everything to gain. She sat in third place by 1.75 points, behind Gretchen Bleiler and .50 behind Cai Xuetong. Clark put down a solid run one, but Bleiler, who's battled to beat Clark all season, put down a better one. Clark needed to best a 94.25 to win the event and the overall 2012 Dew Cup. Otherwise it went to Gretchen.
And she did just that.
In classic Kelly Clark form, she dropped the hammer with a huge frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, cab 720, frontside 540, and backside air. It wasn't her cleanest looking run, but it earned her a 95.00, pushing Bleiler's 94.25 to second place.
"I really had to stick to the plan today," said Clark. "I knew the run that I came out to do and regardless of what was going on around me I had to make those choices and do the run I was going to be happy with walking away. Some of my favorite events are when Gretchen and I have gone head to head, run for run. She's one of my biggest competitors, but also one of my biggest inspirations."
|Kelly Clark's undefeated string of wins is up to 14 now.|
Bleiler, who said she spent time practicing in a private pipe at Buttermilk prior to this comp, qualified first in semi's and put down one of her best comp runs this season in finals: crippler, backside 540 mute grab, front 900 tail grab, backside air, frontside 720, and cab 720.
"Today felt really good, but Kelly did her 10 and it's a crowd pleaser," said Bleiler. "It shows me that I need to start doing them. I didn't do my back 9 today, so I have more to give still. Today is motivation to keep working hard. I"m not throwing all of my tricks and I need to."
Rounding out the podium was 18-year-old Chinese rider Cai Xuetong, who's proving she is marching into Bleiler and Clark territory. She put down two solid runs, boosting huge airs and earning an 89.75 with a backside air, frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 720 cab 720, and frontside air.
Bleiler, Clark, and Xuetong left the venue to head directly to the TTR World Championships in Oslo.
Men's Snowboard Superpipe Finals
The men's snowboard halfpipe final today at the third and final stop of the Dew Tour at Snowbasin, was dominated by Loui Vito and Iouri "I-Pod" Podladtchikov. Shaun White, who competed and won the first stop in Breckenridge, did not compete in the second two stops, leaving Swissman and the Tiny Dancer from Ohio to battle it out.
|Spencer Shaw pulled an impressive 1440 tailgrab, but it wasn't enough to overtake Vito.|
Leading after run one by 1.75 points with a 94.75, Vito still had no choice but to send the best run he had, because I-Pod was waiting to drop after him. Vito dropped in and proceeded to shred the dance floor with a double crippler, double Michalchuk, front double cork 1080, Cab double cork 1080, frontside 1080, and Cab 720, earning a 98.00.
I-Pod, who was just in the hospital in Zurich on Wednesday for nose surgery, answered back with an equally impressive run: back double cork 1260, front double cork 1080, cab double cork1080 into a front-to-back 1080 combo. While waiting for judges' scores, the crowd knew it was either rider's for the taking. Still, he fell one point short with a 97.00
Vito's 98.00 was called out as the highest Winter Dew Tour score ever.
Of the run, Vito said: "I knew having I-Pod drop after me I was going to have to do something good. He's riding so consistent and always pushes me. I wanted to put down that run. I feel good. Another Dew Cup and I finally got a win instead of a second like the last two Dew Tour stops."
Rounding out the podium was Spencer Shaw from Stratton, Vermont, who pulled a 1440 with a nice tailgrab held all the way around, which helped his third-place run score land at 90.00. Vito and Podladtchikov were obviously riding in a league of their own, with the remainder of the field battling to catch the third place position.